Prosecutors consider criminal charges in Hillsborough probe

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LONDON (AP) British prosecutors will consider criminal charges against 23 suspects following separate investigations into the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in 1989 in which 96 soccer fans were killed.

The charges under consideration include manslaughter and perverting the course of justice as a result of an alleged cover-up by police.

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The two inquiries were launched following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report in 2012, which exposed the failure of emergency services and public bodies to deal with the tragedy and the extent of the police cover-up.

A statement released on behalf of the two investigations — by Operation Resolve and the Independent Police Complaints Commission — said 15 of the suspects came from the inquiry into the causes of the disaster, while eight came from the inquiry into the alleged cover-up.

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The Crown Prosecution Service has received the files of evidence.

The fans were crushed to death in a crowded stand at an FA Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The original inquest recorded verdicts of accidental death but they were overturned in 2012 after campaigning by relatives of the victims. A jury at a new inquest found last year that police and emergency services were to blame for Britain’s worst sports disaster and that the victims were “unlawfully killed.”